The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was created in 1968 to encourage communities to adopt floodplain management ordinances and to help offset rising disaster assistance costs to the federal government. The owners of property located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) (also known as the “100-year floodplain”), are required to purchase flood insurance if they have a federally insured mortgage and their property is located in one of these mapped areas. According to FEMA, property in a SFHA has at least a one-percent chance of being flooded in any given year, or a 26 percent chance of being flooded during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
Although flood insurance is sold by private insurers, the rates are set by FEMA and are based on a property’s hazard zone designation, which can be found on a participating community’s flood insurance rate map (FIRM). Homes, apartments and commercial buildings built above the flood level – the base flood elevation – are generally not required to carry flood insurance, while buildings built below the flood level pay more for flood insurance according to a risk-based sliding scale.
Salina’s floodplain maps were adopted in 1986 and were outdated. The federal program for replacing old and outdated paper topographical FIRM maps with digital versions began in 2006. Replacing decades-old data with information generated by aerial laser surveys (LIDAR) and new computer models is intended to allow FEMA to more precisely identify and map flood-prone areas. The digital maps will be easier to access by the public, easier to read and easier to update. The process of updating flood maps for Salina and Saline County is now complete.
The Kansas Division of Water Resources, in a collaborative effort with FEMA and their mapping contractor AMEC Foster Wheeler, has sent a letter of Final Determination and a final set of the updated FIRMS to community officials in Salina and Saline County. The boundaries of many flood-prone areas within the city of Salina shown on the existing 1986 flood map have been revised.
The public may view the final maps at the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash St., Room 205, or online at www.salina-ks.gov/maps.
Frequently asked questions and the LOMC database, which is a listing of all LOMAs by address for properties within city limits, can be found online at www.salina-ks.gov/floodplaininformation.
Out of 2,107 Letters of Map Amendment (LOMA) for properties within the city limits, there are 35 properties whose LOMAs were not revalidated on the revised map.
Approximately 30 properties that were not shown in the floodplain on the 1986 FIRM are now shown in the floodplain on the revised map.
The Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and the FIRM will go into effect on April 18, 2018.
The City of Salina is required to adopt updated floodplain management regulations by April 18, 2018 to bring the City’s regulations into conformance with FEMA and Kansas Division of Water Resources Requirements.
Salina’s updated regulations must be reviewed and approved by the Kansas Division of Water Resources prior to final adoption by the City Commission.
The Salina City Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing to review the updated regulations on March 6, 2018 in Room 107 of the City-County Building.
The City Commission is scheduled to consider the updated floodplain management regulations and maps at the March 26, 2018 meeting.
For More Information
For local information regarding inquiries about properties within the city limits of Salina, or the revalidation of existing Letters of Map Change (LOMA or LOMR letters), contact the City of Salina Planning Division at (785) 309-5715 or (785) 309-5720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For state information, contact Program Manager Dane Bailey with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources at (785) 296-7769, or visit http://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/dwr.
For federal information regarding Map Modernization or the National Flood Insurance Program visit www.fema.gov.